Amazon is an odd company—it's "often compared to Silicon Valley tech giants," as the Wall Street Journal puts it, but tech is just one part of its business. Retail, logistics, and transportation are the other parts, and that explains why the median annual salary of its workers is just $28,446. Its half-a-million-strong workforce is largely blue-collar, with most of its employees working in warehouses and making about the same as workers in the warehouses of other companies—despite the fact that Amazon has, as one economist puts it, an "enormous market advantage"; its market valuation is 184 times this year's estimated earnings. Amazon, along with more than 330 other companies, just released its median annual pay amount as part of the Dodd-Frank Law's requirement to reveal the gap between worker pay and executive pay, Bloomberg reports; Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos reported total compensation of $1.68 million last year.
When comparing Amazon's median pay to other tech companies, it comes in quite low: Facebook's median annual compensation, for example, is $240,430. But Amazon has the fifth-highest median pay of retailers that are ranked by S&P Global; retailers including Home Depot, Macy's, Walmart, and Gap all have lower median compensation figures. Amazon pays less than all the transportation companies ranked by S&P Global, and when it comes to logistics, an expert estimates its pay comes in in the top half of logistics employers but not in the top 10%. The median annual figure takes into account all of Amazon's employees, both full- and part-time, who are located in more than 50 countries. (Amazon's workforce now also includes Whole Foods grocery store employees.) An Amazon spokesperson says full-time US fulfillment-center workers make an average wage of more than $15 per hour, including cash, stock, and incentive bonuses. (Read more Amazon.com stories.)